UNSW researcher receives top honours from Australian Academy of Science

Professor Rebecca Guy has been honoured for her public health work for vulnerable communities, such as point-of-care testing for STIs and COVID-19.
Yolande Hutchinson | UNSW Newsroom

A leading professor from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney has today been recognised by the Australian Academy of Science with a 2022 honorific award.  

Professor Rebecca Guy received the Gustav Nossal Medal for Global Health and is among 20 of Australia’s top scientists to be recognised by the country’s most prestigious scientific organisation.

The Academy’s annual medals recognise scientific excellence by researchers from the early stages of their careers to those who have made lifelong achievements.

“I am honoured to receive this award and would like to acknowledge all the people who I have collaborated with on this public health research – those at UNSW, other research organisations, community organisations, governments, laboratories and health services. We have worked together for more than a decade to make these new technologies available,” Prof. Guy said.

“COVID-19 has shown how quickly new testing technologies can be approved, rolled out, and funded including ones people can use at home. I hope that same momentum can be used to improve access to testing tools across a range of infectious diseases and particularly for the most vulnerable people in Australian society.”

Prof. Guy is a renowned international authority in the implementation and evaluation of public health interventions related to HIV and sexually transmissible infections (STIs), particularly among vulnerable populations.

Among her many achievements to date, she has worked in partnership to introduce STI and COVID-19 point-of-care testing in remote Aboriginal communities and led the evaluation of HIV point-of-care tests that can be conducted by people in their own home (HIV self-tests).

Serving as Head of the Surveillance Evaluation and Research Program at The Kirby Institute, as well as leader of both the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in the Accelerated Implementation of New Point-of-Care Technology for Infectious Diseases and the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance, Prof. Guy’s research has been highly influential on policy and practice, both in Australia and internationally.

President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor John Shine, said this year’s awardees are blazing a trail for science both locally and globally.

“The award recipients have made a significant contribution to the research enterprise and the impact of their research will continue for years to come.

“They have distinguished themselves and the whole of Australian science, and the Academy is proud to support their outstanding contributions.”